Modern cars are equipped with headunits that support Android Auto or Apple Carplay. With the recently added support for Android Auto in OsmAnd - an established open source offline maps and navigation app - my hope for a privacy-friendly solution was reawaken. Hence, I investigated whether it was practically possible to use use this combination in a data-literate way. I stumbled over several caveats and irritating privacy-invasive issues but also found a semi-satifactionary workaround for the time being.
If you want to run Linux on ARM64-based machines, Debian GNU/Linux is an excellent distribution choice. Due to its universal concept, it works great on laptops, workstations and servers alike. Unfortunately, Debian officially supports only a small number of ARM64-based machines (12 at the time of writing). Yet, you can run Debian unmodified on a lot more ARM64-based machines - if you manage to install it. After discussing some basics and showing how to check the support status for a particular machine, this article describes my recommended way for performing the actual installation using a concrete example.
I have written this guide to outline how I finally managed to get the official version of Devuan GNU+Linux 3 or Debian GNU/Linux 10 installed on a PINEBOOK Pro. It shows how to achieve this using official mainline u-boot and kernel from upstream (no unofficial patches) and without using third-party repositories. However, it does use self-compiled (unpackaged) versions of u-boot and kernel as tweaking their default build configuration files is currently still required.
If you want to self-host stuff at home using an ARM64-based board running Linux, both Debian GNU/Linux and Devuan GNU+Linux are excellent distribution choices. Unfortunately, they officially support only very few ARM64-based boards. Yet, you can run them unmodified on a lot more boards - if you manage to install them. After discussing some basics and showing how to check the support status for a particular board, this article describes my recommended way for performing the actual installation by a concrete example.
Installing and configuring operating systems on single-board computers can be painful when there is no nearby ethernet connection available. A pocket-router that provides wired internet access over an existing wireless network can help here. In this article, I discuss why I decided to build one myself and describe the particular steps conducted. Moreover, I also present measures regarding performance and power consumption.
This tutorial describes a method I developed to prepare and install a Devuan 3 (beowulf) base system for the armhf architecture. I should also work for arm64 and others with small modifications. Instead of building machine-specific images, I debootstrap a single unified build that can be used across numerous ARMv7 boards without rebuilding.
Motivation On many occasions, I have seen myself and other free software enthusiasts being asked which smartphones and mobile operating systems they can recommend to users who are looking for a free (owner-controlled) and secure smartphone that respects their freedom and privacy.
I would like to share some of my thoughts about this complex topic. However, please be warned, that it might be disappointing for those who might expect to get clear recommendations in the conclusion.
Around three years ago, I started a blog using the FSFE’s member services. Last year in May, I took it down for various reasons. I am happy to announce that large parts of its content are now back online - in a fresh format!
This article is highly subjective and only states the author’s opinion based on actual observations and “wild” assumptions. Unlike stated in the title, it might apply only to LineageOS and not to the original AOSP. Better explanations and corrections are warmly welcome!
Motivation After updating an App from the F-Droid store (OpenCamera), my Android device was completely unusable. In this state, the only feasible option for a typical end-user to recover the device (who does not know how to get to safe mode in order to remove or downgrade the app ) would have been to wipe data in recovery, loosing all data.
Motivation If you ever tried using a flash drive (such a SD, microSD, USB drive or CF) for your root or home filesystem on a small computing device or smartphone, you probably have noticed that flash cards are in most cases a lotslower than integreted eMMC flash. Since most filesystems use 4k blocks, the random write/read performance using 4k blocks is what matters most in such scenarios. And while flash cards don’t come close to internal flash in these disciplines, there are significantdifferences between the models.
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